AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK PRESIDENT AKINWUMI ADESINA has assured Zambia’s Minister of Finance MARGARET MWANAKATWE of his full support in the banks cause to accelerate Zambia’s growth and development.
Dr. Adesina expressed keenness to support programmes targeted at agriculture, crop processing zones, energy, infrastructure, and private sector development. He congratulated Zambia’s President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for appointing Mrs. Mwanakatwe “to a position of great responsibility,” because of the anticipated positive demonstration effect that she will have on young professionals, and girls in particular – in the execution of her duties as Minister of Finance.
The African Development Bank President also took the opportunity to announce that the proven capacity and qualifications of Ms. MOONO MUPOTOLA, a Zambian National, has earned her a new appointment as African Development Bank Director for Regional Integration.
Dr. Adesina said this during a bilateral consultative meeting with Mrs. Mwanakatwe held on the sidelines of the just ended High-Level Meeting on Accelerating Africa’s Growth and Development in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.
“Completion of the Cost-of-Service-Study in the energy sector will bring investor confidence in the energy sector,” he said.
Meanwhile, acknowledging the appointment of Ms. Mupotola to a senior position in the bank, Mrs. Mwanakatwe also took the opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of the Zambian Government to work together with the bank because “small things are building blocks for economic transformation.”
And AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK VICE PRESIDENT FOR AGRICULTURE JENNIFER BLANKE, during a strategic meeting with Mrs. Mwanakatwe, said focusing on agriculture business development will help the rural population of Zambia to thrive.
“The future looks exciting as Zambia is capable of feeding the entire continent,” said Dr. Blanke, adding that, “the country needs to transform its land usage by promoting improved agriculture productivity and establishing a raw material base to facilitate the full development of agri-business prototypes; which are expected to have positive impact on surrounding communities.”
“We want to create a generation of entrepreneurs in agri-business by equipping them with life skills, market access,” said Dr. Blanke.
Meanwhile, DR. PIERRE GUISLAINE, THE AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK VICE PRESIDENT FOR INFRASTRUCTURE AND PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENT says regional integration will be an accelerator for Africa’s growth and that the bank is ready to help the private sector in Zambia to expand their production capacity in order to venture into the export market.
“We are also keen to support financing for construction materials, trade logistics, Information and Communication Technology, and hospitality, among others,” said Dr. GUISLAINE.
Mrs. Mwanakatwe appealed to the AfDB to accelerate the feasibility studies at Mpulungu Harbour in Northern Province, “because the port is severely constrained in capacity and operational efficiency and is, therefore, hampering trade facilitation.”
“Deepening and widening of Mpulungu Harbour is critical,” said the Minister.
AND during Mrs. Mwanakatwe’s briefing on the reforms being undertaken by Zambia under the Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme, African Development Bank Vice President for Energy Development MAMADOU HOTT says there is need to remain committed to key reforms under the programme.
Under its HIGH FIVE INITIATIVE, the AfDB has identified Zambia as ONE OF THE BENEFICIARIES from the USD758 million INTEGRATE AFRICA PROGRAMME, the USD 59 million FEED AFRICA PROGRAMME, and the USD2.5 billion QUALITY OF LIFE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMME.
The Minister has since returned to Zambia.